To register for the Plucky Shindig and classes, please visit our simplified Registration Page (live on January 12th @ 5:00 pm Eastern Time).

Friday & Saturday, May 23 – 24, 2014

at the Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan

We welcome you to downtown Grand Rapids for two days of shopping and events centered around you! Sarah and crew will serve up the yarn and the fun! Lorilee will be manning the welcome desk and serving as shepherdess to the flock.

We are all in for a treat as our special guest teacher and lecturer is Franklin Habit! Hurray! Franklin just took a plunge into a colorful box of Plucky with his most recent pattern and article for Knitty. Read “How I became a Princess” and check out the Plaid Collar pattern. With Franklin around, we will have a wealth of inspiration.

At the close of last year’s retreat we listened to your comments. The overwhelming theme that emerged is that you all wanted to be able to spend more time together, chatting, sharing, and getting to know and spend time with your friends from the Plucky threads- in real life! This, in addition to accommodating a significantly larger group, has been our primary objective during all our planning for the Shindig. We have tried to expand on the wonderful feelings of community we have within the Plucky group by preserving more free time to get to know each other and by designing events that celebrate the whack of talent you bring to the party.

What follows is an outline of our weekend events, a description of classes offered, and a description of the registration process. You make this special, and we thank you for joining us.

Your grateful hosts,

Sarah & Lorilee

Last year’s shopping – everything & the kitchen sink!
Retreat Full Size



8:00 a.m. –  5:00 p.m.

Welcome desk open to serve you. Pick up your retreat packages and have your questions answered.

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Shopping time reserved exclusively for registered retreaters and class-takers.

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Shop the Plucky store. Open to everyone.

Choose lunch from numerous options in the hotel or beyond.

2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (or possibly 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

Play with color in Shadow Knitting with Franklin Habit, open to first 20 students who sign up. Plucky yarn packs are provided. Whether signing up for the retreat or not, all have an equal opportunity on a first-come, first-served basis.

Chose dinner from numerous options in the hotel or beyond.

8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. (time may be tweaked a bit)

Dessert and cocktails reception and fashion show for registered retreaters.


8:00 a.m. –  5:00 p.m.

Welcome desk open to serve you. Pick up your retreat packages and have your questions answered here.

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Shopping time reserved exclusively for registered retreaters and class-takers.

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon (time may be tweaked a bit)

Play with texture in Bavarian Twisted Stitches with Franklin Habit, open to first 20 students who sign up. Whether signing up for the retreat or not, all have an equal opportunity on a first-come, first-served basis.

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Shop the Plucky store. Open to everyone.

Choose lunch from numerous options in the hotel or beyond.

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 pm

Sit down dinner banquet followed by Franklin Habit’s presentation- Impractical Magic: The Other Side of Weldon’s Practical Needlework. This dinner and presentation are for registered retreaters and will conclude our time together.

Franklin Habit


Designer, teacher, author and illustrator Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008) and proprietor of The Panopticon, one of the most popular knitting blogs on the Internet. On an average day, upwards of 2,500 readers worldwide drop in for a mix of essays, cartoons, and the continuing adventures of Dolores the Sheep. He recently founded Yarn Shaming, because while he loves yarn, yarn does not always love him back.

Franklin’s varied experience in the fiber world includes contributions of writing and design to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Twist Collective; and a regular columns and cartoons for, PLY Magazine and Lion Brand Yarns. Several of his independently published designs are available via

He travels constantly to teach knitters at shops and guilds across the country and internationally; and has been a popular member of the faculties of such festivals as Vogue Knitting Live!, STITCHES Midwest and East, and the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat.


Classes are limited to 20 students. The retreat package does not include a class. Anyone may purchase a class, whether purchasing the retreat package or not. Students sign up for classes a la carte.  Classes cost $90.

Friday afternoon:

Now You See It, Now You Don’t: Shadow Knitting

with Franklin Habit


Color and texture meet and mingle with startling results in the subtle, intriguing fabrics created by shadow (also called “illusion”) knitting. Stripes, garter stitch, and stockinette combine to create patterns that appear or vanish depending on the angle of view- perfect for hiding secret messages in your work. We will not only learn the technique (including simple chart reading), but will also investigate methods for designing shadow patterns, and play with creating our own charts for custom projects.


Fluency in the basic techniques of knitting.

Materials (to be provided by The Plucky Knitter):

For this class, Sarah will select colors and provide Plucky Knitter yarn for students.

Materials (to be provided by students):

Needles: 1 circular needle, 24 inches, in a size appropriate to give a comfortable, firm gauge (such as would be appropriate for a warm scarf or hat) in worsted weight Plucky Knitter Primo.


Notebook, pencils (not pens) and erasers for sketching and charting.



Saturday morning:

Bavarian Twisted Stitch: An Introduction

with Franklin Habit


The intriguing raised patterns of the Styrian Alps are known in their native German as “Bayerisches Stricken”–“Peasant Knitting”–but their effect in knitted fabric is of unsurpassed richness. We will study and practice the twist maneuvers required of the technique, and also learn how to read the special charts in which the patterns have most often been recorded. Pre-requisites: Fluency in the basic techniques of knitting, including knitting in the round. Prior familiarity and comfort with working from charted patterns will be helpful.

Materials (to be provided by students):

One ball of smooth (non-fuzzy), firmly-spun yarn in sport or worsted weight (for example: Plucky Sweater or Plucky Primo Worsted) in white or a light color.

One 16-inch circular needle in a size that will give you a firm gauge with the yarn you select. Please note that needles with sharp tips, whether wood or metal, will be extremely helpful!

Notebook and pen or pencil for making notes.

It is also expected that students will have with them the usual notions basic to knitting: scissors, tapestry needle, a selection of stitch markers, etc.

Saturday night talk:

This presentation will follow dinner and is for all registered retreaters.

Impractical Magic:

The Other Side of Weldon’s Practical Needlework

Beginning in the 1880s, and for decades thereafter, the editors of Weldon’s Practical Needlework provided an enormous audience of amateur craftswomen with patterns for garments designed to be warm, strong, long-lived and, well, practical. But Weldon’s had another side, too. A side that proposed the knitting of covers for tennis balls, of knitting whips for children, and of covering open flames with crinkled tissue paper. In this illustrated talk–not for the faint of heart–we’ll take a look at what our great-great-grandmothers got up to after they’d already knit a sufficiency of Socks for Invalids. Warning: May induce seizures in persons with good taste.

Franklin has dug up some interesting knitting history to share. Those of you not familiar with Franklin’s work may be interested in reading some of the articles he has written for Enjoy!

Registration Instructions

We thank you in advance for exercising patience with our registration process. We want to provide you with information for planning far in advance of the event, so that once you know the details you will have time to decide if you wish to register for the events or attend to shop and be with your friends.  We have scheduled much more free time during the day so no matter what, know that all your friends will be available to hang out.

There are two lobbies, plus bars and restaurants to choose from right inside the hotel. Outside the hotel is a wealth of other choices within close walking distance.


Registration will be conducted online through The Plucky Knitter website on Sunday, January 12, 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. The registration page will have three separate items to purchase- Friday Class ($90), Saturday Class ($90), and Retreat Package ($325). Use the time until then to decide your level of participation, which could be none (attending to just shop and hang out) to all three of the above.


We have only forty class seats available this year- twenty on Friday afternoon and twenty on Saturday morning, and they will be sold on the registration page first-come, first-served. Everyone has an equal chance at these. Those registered for a class will have additional special  access to the Plucky Store on Friday and Saturday mornings 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.


No registration is needed for shopping. That would be silly! Everyone is welcome Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The shop will be located in the Governor’s Room. Downtown parking is available metered or in paid ramps. There are numerous ramps nearby. The hotel’s ramp is $16/day.


The Friday night fashion show, goodie bag, and Saturday night dinner and presentation are only for those registered as retreaters. Individual tickets to these events are not available.


Those purchasing the $325 retreat package will have entry to

  • Early shopping hours at the Plucky Store on Friday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.  Class-takers also share this shopping time.
  • Friday night welcome reception with desserts, drinks, and a Plucky Knitter Fashion Show featuring your wondrous work! Emceed by Pluckyfella Ryan and another host who still needs to be roped into it, this will be a memorable evening. Descriptions of the item you are showing off will need to be submitted ahead of time. (Details to follow.) This lively and colorful event will be held in the balconied Imperial Ballroom.
  • Goodie Bag valued at over $100. Special surprises are in the works!
  • Saturday evening sit-down banquet and presentation by Franklin. This will be held in The Pantlind Ballroom. The weekend’s events conclude here.
  • Registered retreaters will receive an email with a link to the online hotel reservation for the group, at a guaranteed rate (see below).
  • No discounts are available if you are not able to participate in either of the evening events.
  • We do not have room for retreaters to invite traveling companions to either evening event.

Hotel reservations:

The retreat cost does not cover hotel room reservations. The hotel looks forward to helping our guests arrange these through an online reservation system or by phone beginning after the January 12 registration date.. Reserved for our group are rooms with two queen beds. The cost will be $129 per night plus taxes which bring it to $148.35 per night. For that price you may put one, two, three, or four guests in that room with two queen beds.  We will not be helping match people for the reservation process, that is up to you, and posting on Ravelry could help you with that. Parking is an additional $16/day self park or $25/day valet park. Know there are many restaurants and much to see and do within close walking distance, so a car is not necessary.

We appreciate your cooperation. In spite of having numerous rooms reserved in our block, please understand that our group size and the number of rooms we will need cannot be perfectly anticipated. We can not afford to have anyone jumping the gun and reserve in our block before registration opens. Do not call the hotel early and ask to be put in our block. The hotel has given us specific instructions for registered retreaters to follow, and we will relay those instructions at the proper time in January with your retreat registration confirmation.  We do have  assurances that we can add to our room block, but the final retreat number will be at our discretion and based on restricted capacity at the evening events.

Lorilee will have access to the hotel’s group reservation reports and will be able to monitor our progress and ask for more rooms as needed.

May  I share my reserved room with a non-retreater?

Yes. We anticipate some of you will want your own room; some will arrive with a guest; some will double, triple or quadruple up on all retreaters in a room. Hence the moving target.

May I reserve more than one room?

A registered retreater must occupy each room.

As a registered retreater, do I have to stay at the hotel?

Retreaters who are local do not need to reserve hotel rooms. However, as a courtesy to Sarah and Lorilee, and to our host hotel, we require retreaters coming from out out town to stay at the Grand Plaza and not elsewhere. These are for planning and contractual reasons and with your cooperation, Sarah and Lorilee will not be left on the hook with a very large bill to pay for rooms unused. Besides, it will be the place to be.

If I am only coming to shop, do I have to stay in the host hotel, or, on the other hand, may I stay there if I choose to even though I am not registered for the full event?

Folks arriving from out of town to shop and hangout may reserve in any  hotel of their choice, of course. There are also some B&B’s in the area. They may also book at the Grand Plaza, but without any guaranteed rate. If for some reason, once the dust settles from initial registration, we are able to offer rooms from our block to non-retreaters, we reserve the right to do so, and will make those announcements in a timely manner so you can make changes.  Checking the cancellation policies of the host hotel or any hotel is the responsibility of the guest.

What is the cancellation policy for this event?

Once you sign up, refunds will only be available if organizer is able to fill your spot from a waiting list.

If after reading all of this you still have questions email Lorilee(at)city-knitting(dot)com.